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Gauff Defies Coaches, Beats Wozniacki


In a tension-filled fourth-round showdown at Arthur Ashe Stadium, Gauff Defies demonstrated remarkable independence by going against her coaches’ advice and seizing control of her destiny. Her newest coach, Brad Gilbert, suggested a strategic shift to emphasize spin, consistency, and longer points, but Gauff Defies had other plans. Instead of obediently following instructions, she took matters into her own hands, stepping inside the baseline and launching relentless attacks. The result was a dramatic and physically demanding generational battle, with Gauff Defies ultimately emerging victorious over the formidable Caroline Wozniacki, prevailing 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 and securing her spot in the quarter-finals of the US Open.

The Turning Point

Gauff admitted that reaching 2-1 in the final set was the turning point of the match. It was then that she demonstrated her unwavering determination by breaking back and unleashing a more aggressive style of play. Despite some errors in the second set, Gauff’s resilience paid off, and she lauded Wozniacki’s enduring skill and inspiration to her throughout her own growth in the sport.

Similarities Between Two Phenoms

This clash between Gauff and Wozniacki was undoubtedly the most highly anticipated match of the tournament, mainly due to the striking similarities between the two players. Both are considered among the best athletes of their respective generations and possess potent backhands. However, their forehands have often been targeted by opponents, limiting their success in the early stages of their careers.

Gauff’s Strong Start

Despite an initial setback with a lost service game, the 19-year-old Gauff began the match with an excellent opening set. She effectively balanced initiative and consistency during long, physical rallies, consistently landing returns. Gauff’s exceptional serving, which garnered her numerous free points, contrasted with Wozniacki’s vulnerability on her second serves. The Dane paid the price for giving Gauff opportunities to exploit this weakness.

Wozniacki’s Problem-Solving Prowess

Wozniacki’s ability to adapt and solve the puzzle of her opponent’s game is undeniable. After a challenging first set, she improved her first-serve percentage in the second set and reduced unforced errors. Wozniacki’s tactical adjustments dared Gauff to hit through her consistently, leading to a higher error count from Gauff’s forehand.

Gauff’s Independent Streak

As Gauff attempted to curb her forehand errors, her coaches’ constant advice began to grate on her nerves. She decided to take matters into her own hands, mounting an all-out attack. This bold approach led to an immediate break-back, a resurgence in her serving prowess, and an unwavering dominance that secured her a significant victory.

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Next Challenge: Jelena Ostapenko

Gauff’s journey through the tournament won’t get any easier in the quarter-finals, where she faces Jelena Ostapenko, who previously defeated her at the Australian Open. Ostapenko secured her place in the last eight with a victory over defending champion Iga Swiatek. Despite the challenges, Gauff’s deep run in the tournament solidifies her status as a contender, showcasing her unique and independent approach to the game.

Wozniacki’s Encouraging Comeback

After retiring for three years, Wozniacki’s presence in New York was marked by a remarkable showing. She not only defeated the 11th seed, Petra Kvitova, but also demonstrated that her level of play and physicality remain high, potentially setting the stage for a competitive return next year.


Coco Gauff’s bold independence and fearless approach on the court propelled her to a thrilling victory over Caroline Wozniacki, capturing the hearts of fans and solidifying her position as a rising star in the world of tennis. Wozniacki, in her comeback journey, showcased her enduring talent and determination. Both players have left their mark on the 2023 US Open, and tennis fans eagerly anticipate their future performances.

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